Today AIG’s Avery Foley wrote a piece disputing Biologos’ Jim Stumps’ post on “10 Misconception of Evolution”. Below is the AIG piece. Since AIG doesn’t allow commenting, let’s discuss here. What do you think of AIG counterarguments?
It’s nice to see that they admit that the idea that the Flood caused the Ice Age is not God’s Word and that women can be scientists too.
This isn’t about the science. But in regards to Exodus 20:11 where it says “for in six days God made the heavens and the earth and sea” — If all we had was this passage, then I would agree that the plain reading is just that … Six days.
But anyone that reads Genesis 1 closely can see that this cannot be literal. The cycle of day and night begins before the creation of the celestial objects: sun, moon and stars. The text says: “let them (the sun, moon and stars) be for days, and for months, and for years and signs” <<< this was created on Day 4. How was the “days” being measured before this time? and one might ask what is the purpose the sun and moon (in Biblical terms) for measuring dates, if time was clearly measured prior to their creation?
A day doesn’t strictly mean a 24-hour period. That’s a distorted meaning. The meaning is “the time it takes for the sun to go in a full circle around the earth” … To say that “six days” just means “six days” is false… Because the text itself cannot mean that. The first three days didn’t have a sun or a moon … That’s already a major difference for comparing them to ordinary days. All six days include the phrase “evening and morning” … But how can we take this literally if the sun and moon was created four days later? and what’s causing the “evening and morning” according to the biblical text? the sun? No. Because that’s created after three phases of “evening and morning” take place.
God separates the light and darkness on Day 1. Then on Day 4 He creates the celestial objects TO separate the light from darkness. Did God make a mistake the first time around and have to use a new tactic? That’s silly.
If we are going to demand that these days be taken absolutely literally, then one has to admit that the phrase “evening and morning” adds no clarity of meaning to the text, whatsoever. Were the first three evenings-and-mornings figurative? were the last three literal? and did the seventh day not have an evening and morning at all, even thought the sun and moon were in existence on that day?
I’m yet to hear a single coherent explanation for this, from the 24-Hour group, to explain this. I would argue that no one is “adding millions of years” to God’s Word. Rather Scripture doesn’t talk coherently about time, when it comes to Creation, and no one can interpret the Creation “literally” no matter how hard they try — many have “creatively” interpreted the light to be referring to Jesus, which goes very much against the plain reading of the text.
Also the Hebrew Interlinear separates the first two verses from the six days.
Genesis 1-2 — The Beginning
Genesis 3-5 — Day 1
Genesis 6-9 — Day 2
Even if one wants to interpret these Days as strictly literal, it’s immaterial, because “the beginning” occurs before the six days. At the very least, you’re left with a Bible that says nothing about how old the universe is.
Maybe I missed it in the article, but I didn’t see the reference to the Ice Age in AiG’s article. I do think it odd how much material is written on the subject of how the Ice Age pertains to the Global Flood… There is not a single mention of the Ice Age in the whole Bible. “Compromised” Christians are “adding millions of years”…? What about YECs adding an Ice Age? This seems somewhat hypocritical to me…
The problem is that in order to believe “God’s Word” according to Ken Ham, you do have to accept some pretty wild “scientific” models for it to make sense. Rejecting those models as not making sense is often equated by them as rejecting the implications of the truth revealed in God’s Word, which was what I think the BioLogos article was trying to point out in the first place.
They flat out admit in that paragraph I quoted that they build their scientific models on their interpretation of Scripture, not on scientific observations.
Ahhh I did miss the reference then. Thanks for the correction. It is nice to know that they admit the Ice Age is not part of God’s Word.
As far as science goes it could be that (according to their definition) evolution isn’t apart of science. But if we accept their definition, one might ask how it is one can use the term “Creation Science” in an honest way? There is no predictions, nor explanatory power given, that I can see, by accepting the models given. But rather the conclusion is arrived at before data comes in … We see evidence for an Ice Age, how does this fit in with Scripture? Etc.
I don’t have a problem with this method necessarily, but it would be better if they could use a different term other than science… Because in science, conclusions are drawn from the data that comes in, but in “creation science” the exact opposite is true.
And there wasn’t just one Ice Age. Several times in Earth’s history there was what is called a “snowball Earth” where ice covered most of the planet. AIG seems to just talk about the last one which ended about 10,000 years ago. That one is very hard to ignore as it left boulders in New York’s central park as the glaciers receded. AIG tries to jam the last Ice Age and 500 million years of plate tectonics into their Global Flood narrative.
I thought you might like this. I was on my homeschool forum and a lady was asking for advice of which to buy AIG or Rainbow Science curriculum (both are fairly popular.) Another lady, who is Australian, said they stopped using AIG when they referred to Tasmania as a country. This year she was looking at samples from Rainbow to decide what to use for her teenaged children and she found this quote in the material they sent out as a sample. (After an experiment) “If you had pushed harder on the marble, what would have happened? The marble would have gone faster and farther, right? Why? Because God made it that way, that’s why.”
Science education at its best, no?
Thanks for sharing this. To me that is what sad about the all of science education. Nobody debates math class. Do you agree that children, independent of their parents beliefs, should learn modern factual science to survive/thrive in the 21st century? Wouldn’t it be best for the kids to just learn science in science class? I went to parochial school in the 1960’s -science class was science class and religion class was religion class. When did they get mixed up? And who mixed them up? And why?
I looked at Rainbow Science curriculum. I didn’t see anything that I would call pseudo-science or anti-science. Is it okay with the Big bang and evolution? If it does, I would have no problem with it in a parochial school or for homeschooling in the US. The thing that fires me up is when the science is changed or highjacked to confirm to one particular religious beliefs. This does the child the most injustice.
The Rainbow Science curriculum is a two year program for junior highers. It’s aimed at Christian homeschoolers and according to Cathy Duffy (she reviews all things homeschool) “The curriculum is obviously Christian with its numerous references to God. Dr. Dobbins’ treatment of the theory of evolution is interesting. He says, “In this text we will attempt to teach the general theory of evolution because a good education in the sciences requires it. We present it as a theory… which we ourselves do not accept” (p. 136). However, it does not seem to me that evolution is taught in this text so much as it is undermined or argued against. Dr. Dobbins does not take a position on the age of the earth.”
It is difficult to find homeschool science material. Many of the programs seem very secular and are even marketed as non-religious. (Like the Real Science 4 Kids series, that is put out by a woman associated with ID which I have used for elementary Biology) but all the “neutral” avoidance of topics that some Christians find uncomfortable eventually adds up. If you buy textbooks that are designed for public school use, you have to pay really exorbitant prices through a textbook rep to get the Teacher’s Manuals and answer keys and you have to make up your lesson plans, or you have to just get the textbook and wing it as best you can. The user-friendly curriculum with everything all laid out designed for parents to teach is pretty much all YEC or anti-evolution ID, at least from what I’ve looked at, and I’ve looked at a lot.
Here in Central New Jersey, public, private, and parochial must follow a pretty rigorous state curriculum especially in science. Given the Catholic church historical stance on big bang, evolution there really isn’t any disharmony in science education here. Homeschooling is very small here as expensive private schools fill in any parental grips about public and parochial schools. My only grip concerning science education in my area is it seems to lag behind because science advances so fast.
But I might be too critical as I was in Starbucks the other day and I asked a high school freshman to look at her biology book. It was a 2015 book and it seemed very current. It even had a discussion and great examples on the HOX gene. This was a middle class public school district. The student also said she download the book on to her laptop. I really don’t know what is going on at the elementary and middle school levels.
As a professor who has also worked on the science curriculum committee for my local school district, I would caution you avoid the criterion you seem to be using here.
What is important is not whether the latest discoveries are covered, but whether the scientific method of testing hypotheses is taught. We’d have a far healthier society if laypeople were better equipped to spot pseudoscience.
One thing I’ve found that works well with 2nd- and 3rd-graders is to ask those with dogs whether the dog will sit on command. Then I ask if they think that the dog understands the word “sit.” Most say yes, then I ask, “What if you are wrong?” Most children are plastic enough to allow their inquisitiveness to override ego and can be led to an experiment to test the hypothesis: saying “Fit!,” “Hit,” etc., or saying “Sit.” in a different tone. The more stubborn ones tend to get the idea.
If only adults were as flexible the world would be a better place.
Just curious… do you know what specifically this experiment involves? Were they involved in some sort of experiment involving inertia or “every force has an equal and opposite reaction”… ?
It’s curious to me whether the plate tectonics are speculated to have occurred “completely within the flood narrative” or did it keep going strong for years after the year-long flood? I ask because many people bring up the point that there is no evidence that kangaroos migrated from Ararat to Australia (or vica-versa)… I’m not sure why this point is brought up so often, when an even more disturbing thing to think about is how it is bears, wolves, rabbits, squirrels etc., somehow found their way into North America, across thousands of miles of ocean, from Ararat? Did they hitch a ride on a moving continent?
Kent Hovind even made the point that super-continents were not moving during the flood, and the only reason that the continents look like they fit is because of the water line… he says “the continents are not dumpling floating in a bowl of soup.” … if his statement is correct then how did the animals I just mentioned find there way to be across the ocean?
Things like above questions come up because we are always making new discoveries in new areas of science that make the flood story harder and harder to take literally. The flood story predates knowledge of plate tectonics by 2500 years. But once plate tectonic becomes accepted history of the Earth based on an overwhelming among of evidence, then those holding on to the story has to either deny the truth of the science or somehow twist the science to make it fit the literal narrative. My favorite one is “What did Koala bears eat after they left the Ark while walking to Australia?” As science understanding grows, the “patches” needed to make the story credible get more and more astounding (and more and more contrary to the scientific evidence.)
I’m not sure why this point is brought up so often, when an even more disturbing thing to think about is how it is bears, wolves, rabbits, squirrels etc., somehow found their way into North America, across thousands of miles of ocean, from Ararat?
A Spanish priest (Jose de Acosta in the late 16th century) had some brilliant insights well ahead of his time on all this – disagreeing with some of the Aristotlean doctrine of his own day. He noticed that some domesticated animals had been brought over, for obvious reasons, but he also noticed that there were some large wild predators present that nobody would have intentionally brought with them. So he reasoned that there must be a land bridge from Asia over to the North American continent. And if those animals could have walked over such a bridge, then humans probably did as well. Such was his reasoning – an astonishingly insightful deduction for the time.
I see that you’re not the only one that recognizes the inconsistency here. 2,000 years of Church History, to my understanding, make no mention of the formation of mountains and valleys, nor do they mention fossilization, and the reason for the geologic column. All of these things, have very recently been added to the story. While it is true that Church History, to my understanding, has mostly agreed that the flood is global, the “added details”, like plate tectonics, and moving continents, are contrary to what I consider good biblical interpretation.
Koala bears eat eucalyptus leaves. Is your specific point referring to the koala bears laziness (they sleep around 20 hours a day) and/or their blindness (they can only see about 4 feet in front of their face)…?
Eucalyptus is mostly found in Australia, not so much along the route. Perhaps Noah’s wife packed them a backpack of leaves for the trip. if there were any left after a year at sea. Or they ate other plants, but then the plaque around their teeth fossils would show otherwise. See how as you drill down deeper into scientific discoveries, the story has to get 'patched" with bigger and bigger “fixes”.
I have heard about land bridges before. It’s very fascinating. What is your opinion on when these land bridges were in existence, and how long do you think they lasted before the ocean covered them up?
Yes. Fixes don’t look good. As an added question I would wander not simply “how” koalas and kangaroos got to be in Australia, but “why” did they migrate over there in the first place? What drew them?